Mkhitaryan to return to Arsenal fold ahead of Man Utd clash

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The Armenia international playmaker is closing in on a return to training after a month out with a fractured metatarsal, the Gunners have confirmed

Arsenal expect Henrikh Mkhitaryan to return to training next week after a month out with a fractured metatarsal.

The Armenia international suffered the injury during last month's Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham, forcing him to come off at half-time.

It was announced on Christmas Eve that the midfielder would be out for six weeks, ruling him out until February.

Arsenal said in a statement that they predict the former Manchester United forward will be back training with his team-mates within the week, though he is still unlikely to feature competitively for Arsenal until next month.

Mkhitaryan joined Arsenal in January 2018 in a deal that saw Alexis Sanchez move to United.

If Mkhitaryan is to rejoin the Gunners fold next week, then he will do so ahead of a fixture against his former employers.

Arsenal have been drawn against United in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Prior to that, they have a crunch derby date with Chelsea to take in this weekend.

Unai Emery's side will welcome the Blues to Emirates Stadium sat six points adrift of their London neighbours.

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That gap will need to be bridged if a return to Champions League competition for 2019-20 is to be secured.

Arsenal are, however, having to look over their shoulder as well as glancing forward.

The resurgence of Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - which has delivered six successive victories - has seen the Red Devils draw level with the Gunners on 41 points.